Call for resignation after auditor’s report on Corby Council

Corby councillor Mark Pengelly
Corby councillor Mark Pengelly
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The Conservative group on Corby Council has called for Mark Pengelly to resign from a leading position after it was revealed four major projects were mismanaged.

It has submitted an urgency motion to a full meeting of the council next month (July) calling on Mr Pengelly to stand down as lead member for finance.

However, Mr Pengelly said he resigned from the position on Monday, before the auditor’s report was made public, for reasons not connected to the findings of the investigation.

The motion states: “The council shall declare that it has no confidence in the lead member for finance and that the lead member for finance shall be required to vacate the position forthwith.”

Mr Pengelly said that his decision to resign was as a result of pressures of work.

In his letter of resignation he says: ”I think it would be in all interests for me not to take up the position of lead member for finance nor chair of local plan.

“I believe I have served Corby Council well on both of these committees and in my role as chairman.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The leader of the council officially accepted the lead member of finance’s letter of resignation on June 17. “After much thought the lead member, Cllr Mark Pengelly, felt unable to continue in the role due to work commitments.

“The Labour group will now hold a meeting to chose a nominee for the position of chair of local plan committee and consider the vacant position of lead member for finance. This will be voted on at full council in early July.”

Cllr David Sims, leader of the Conservatives on Corby Council, said: “We were not made aware of any resignation of any member, particularly the lead member for finance.

“In the normal course of events we would have been aware of the resignation and the subsequent availability of the post.”

The auditor’s report concluded that four major regeneration projects, worth a total of £67m, had been mismanaged by Corby Council.

They included the Cube, a housing development on Kingswood estate and improvements to Rockingham Triangle sports complex.

It was also revealed that the council may have breached its statutory obligation under the Local Government Act by selling two parcels of land at St James Industrial Estate, to make way for the Tesco store, for a total of £3.8m.

The council is obliged to get the best possible price for its assets.

An independent valuer last year said he would have expected the total value from the sale of the plots to be between £8m and £13.3m, at least £4.2m, and potentially £9.5m more than the council received.